The Thanksgiving weekend proved to be active for two leading Republican Presidential candidates: Mitt Romney and Rudy Giuliani. They traded comments about their past performance in office (gubernatorial and mayoral, respectively). Giuliani’s attacks proved to be juvenile.
Romney had appointed a judge during his tenure who allowed a man out of prison. This man has been charged (since his release) with the murder of a young married couple. Romney asked for the judge to step down. I don’t know all the circumstances regarding the release of the prisoner but it does seem a little harsh to call for the judge’s resignation after one poor (albeit, major) decision. This particular judge could have a history of other poor decisions though – I don’t know. On the other hand, judges are placed in positions of great responsibility and should be held to higher levels of conduct and judgment. In any case, Giuliani’s barb at Romney was puerile.
Giuliani questioned Romney’s judgment in the appointment of this judge: “The governor is going to have to explain his appointment.” So now Romney is personally responsible for every poor decision someone he appointed makes? If this is the case, he must be responsible for every good thing that his appointees do. Parents aren’t – much of the time – even responsible for the choices their young children make and never are for their older children, let alone adult children. Romney didn’t even try to cover for the judge, he called for her resignation. Giuliani is an intelligent man but he certainly made a less-than-intelligent jab at Romney.
This just shows the problems with negative campaigning. Both sides often come across as looking a little foolish because it is easy to come back with a swift retort that isn’t well-formulated or well-researched. Slinging mud at others gets your own hands dirty. It’s the bystanders (other candidates) that usually benefit from traded barbs like this one between Romney and Giuliani. Even if the other person started it, you can’t say that without sounding childish. I think it would be best to ignore as many attacks as possible but respond calmly and certainly if the attacks are outrageous lies. Even that can be problematic though. You should certainly never come back with a, “Yeah, but you….” That’s my main criticism of and advice for Romney right now – don’t get drawn into negative campaigning. It just gets ugly and makes you look bad. Even if it wins you the election, it’s a poor way to win. Take the higher route, take the cleaner road – don’t get trapped in the gutter of mudslinging.